Advancing the Value of Ethnography

Folded Map: Disrupting Chicago’s Friction Through Art


Tonika Johnson reveals inequities in real estate and land use practices, and creates positive change through community-based initiatives and arts.

Tonika Johnson is a photographer, social justice artist and life-long resident of Chicago’s South Side Englewood neighborhood. Her work reveals injustices and inequities in real estate and land use practices, including historic preservation, and encourages us to reevaluate and create positive change. Her ongoing project, Folded Map, visually investigates disparities among segregated Chicago residents while bringing them together to have a conversation. Her “Inequity For Sale” project highlights the living history of Greater Englewood homes sold on discriminatory Land Sale Contracts in the 50’s and 60’s. Tonika’s artistic contributions have gained international recognition, including being named a Chicagoan of the Year by Chicago Magazine, with previous exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Rootwork Gallery in Pilsen, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Harold Washington Library Center and at Loyola University’s Museum of Art. She is a 2019 Field Foundation “Leader for a New Chicago”, a 2022 Landmark Illinois’ Influencer, and recently concluded a 2023 Ateliers Médicis Artist in Residence in Paris, France. She serves as a Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Cultural Advisory Council member, a lead co-founder of the Englewood Arts Collective and the Resident Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E.). She now serves as the Creative Executive Officer of the Folded Map Project™ nonprofit organization.


Log in to watch the video presentation:

Not an EPIC Member? Learn more about membership.